Hi all. I try not to get too personal on this blog because you and I both know this is a craft blog, and although I dip here and there in various crafting venues and the spattering of family life, occasionally I love to hear what you all have to say about certain topics, because I really appreciate any knowledge you might have. I also hate to think that this might be too private and my son wouldn’t want me to write this post…but I would like to know if any of you parents have had a child with this problem and would love any advice you can give so I can help him.
My efforts to find much about this have been pretty fruitless, especially in tips for a child who wakes up with extreme panic/anxiety attacks at night. Even mentioning it to a doctor at his last visit didn’t do any good. I think I might need to make an appointment specifically for this with his normal pediatrician.
My eight year old has been having horrible panic attacks at night. He wakes up and is sweaty, heart racing, terrified, running around the house looking for something but when asked, he can’t tell us what it is. He is very hard to calm down, very shaky, and looks around as if the world might eat him up. It is pretty heartbreaking.
Last night was especially sad. Dillon and I had been in our room talking, and he had gone downstairs to find us. Thankfully I went downstairs to get a drink, and as I headed down, he completely caught me off guard coming up the stairs in the dark, a look of utter fear on his face, saying, “Will someone please help me?” It’s hard to watch.
Dillon and I remain very calm, give him lots of hugs and eventually calm him down. He goes back to bed some nights easily, and other nights he lies awake afraid to fall asleep, and even when not afraid, has a difficult time falling asleep. Last night he ended up in our bed, which pretty much never happens with him. He’d wake up occasionally gasping and say, “It’s that horrible feeling again!” He tells me it’s the worst feeling in the world.
We ask him if he remembers what happened the night before and most of the time he doesn’t, but he does remember the feeling. He has a hard time falling asleep most nights and I ask him if he is worried or scared about anything, and he says he isn’t, but that his body feels weird and he sometimes describes really odd feelings with his body—for example last night before he fell asleep he said when he laid down he felt like his head was being dunked under water.
Other than that, he is a happy kid! Yesterday we went swimming and relaxed and had a fun water fight and did sparklers before bed. Nothing stressful or out of the ordinary. He hasn’t been worried about anything during the day. He plays with friends fine, he laughs a lot, he plays with legos a ton (I mention that because it is fun and relaxing to him). I can’t think of what might be triggering these things. He reads before bed to try and get sleepy.
Anyways, hopefully someone has had experience with this. We’re doing the best we know how to at this point, but these panic attacks are becoming more frequent. Maybe the answer is that it’s night terrors and he’ll outgrow it? Maybe the answer is that we need to see his regular pediatrician (not the one we saw when I mentioned it). I know prayer never hurts :).
Normal posting will resume later this week. Thanks for understanding that the crafting community of blogging is helpful to this mama!